Carol Blessing, Ph.D.

Carol Blessing, Ph.D.
Department of Literature,
Journalism and Modern Languages
Professor of Literature

Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, CA 92106


University of California, Riverside — 1991 — Doctor of Philosophy — English.
Major fields of concentration: Sixteenth and seventeenth century English literature.
Minor fields: Medieval English literature, drama, feminist theory, new historicist theory.

California State University, Los Angeles — 1986 — Master of Arts - English.

Messiah College, Grantham, PA — 1979 — Bachelor of Arts; graduated cum laude — English major, communications minor.

Houghton College, Houghton, NY — 1977 — Writing/Literature double major (transferred to Messiah College).


Renaissance and 17th Century Literature; Shakespeare; Medieval, Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama; Drama as a genre (classical to postmodern); World Literature; Women Writers; Women in Religion; Gender Studies and Feminist Theory; Composition.

Professor, Point Loma Nazarene University — 2003 to Present

Associate Professor, Point Loma Nazarene University — 1998-2003

Assistant Professor, Point Loma Nazarene College — 1993-1998.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biola University — 1992-1993.

Lecturer, Biola University — 1991-1992.

Teaching Assistant, University of California, Riverside — Spring 1987 to Spring 1991.

Editorial Work: Before entering graduate school, I worked as a Methods and Procedures Writer and as Publications Writer/Coordinator for Transamerica Insurance, a Proofreader for ARCO and Parish Publications, and a Technical Editor for Hughes Aircraft.


Irwin-Swerdlow Fellowship — Spring 1986, at the California State University, Los Angeles.

University of California Humanities Graduate Student Research Fellowship — Summer 1989 — For dissertation research at the British Library, London.

Teaching Assistantships — 1987-1991 — University of California, Riverside.

Graduate Student Essay Contest Finalist, Spring 1991 — University of California, Riverside.

Wesleyan Center Fellowship — Fall, 1996 — Point Loma Nazarene College — Project: “Women in the Wesleyan Tradition.”

Wesleyan Center Grant — Summer, 1997 — Point Loma Nazarene College — Continuation of project.

Research Sabbatical — Fall, 2000 — Point Loma Nazarene University — Research on book project related to dissertation.

Wesleyan Center Grant — 2004/2005 — Point Loma Nazarene University — Project: “Constructing Women in the Wesleyan Tradition.”

Research and Special Projects Grant — 2004/2005 — Point Loma Nazarene University — For research travel to Manchester, England for work associated with the Wesleyan Grant.

Wesleyan Center Visiting Fellow to Manchester, England — Summer 2005 — John Wesley and Women in Early Methodism.

Wesleyan Center Grant — Summer 2006 — For Research travel to Manchester, UK, researching Mary Tooth in the Methodist Archives; continuation of the 2005 project.


Editor of New Horizons: Resources for Nazarene Women Clergy, quarterly newsletter produced through the Church of the Nazarene.

Elected member of the Site Governance Committee, Mira Mesa High School (2007-2009).

Co-coordinator of the Conference of Christianity and Literature Western Region Conference at PLNU, March 2004.

Past Campus Committee work: General Education Committee, Curricular Exceptions Committee, Financial Aid Committee, Special Events Committee, Faculty Secretary, WASC Committee on Department Review, Strategic Planning Goal Team on Articulating Our Community’s Wesleyan Identity and Practice.

Founding Member and Professor in the Women’s Studies Minor at Point Loma Nazarene University. Began course on Women Writers. Active in the Women Faculty discussion group, the Social Issues discussion group, and the Women’s Studies Forum. Past leader of two film forums — Babette’s Feast, and My Journey My Islam — and other work at Women’s Studies events.

Within the Literature, Journalism, and Modern Language department, I have been library/media acquisitions coordinator, coordinator for the brunch for graduating seniors, head of the graduate school workshops and chair of the literature committee. I am current Department Chair, 2008-2011.

I originated the Women Writers LIT333 and Medieval Literature LIT444 courses, and helped develop the Literary Theory and Scholarship capstone course.

Founder and coordinator of the annual LJML Poetry Day, bringing in a nationally-known poet to speak on campus every year since 1999. Wrote a proposal and received on-going funding from the Provost for this event; also worked with the Cultural Events chair to add this event annually to the Cultural Events Series.

Member Modern Language Association, Renaissance Society of America, Conference on Christianity and Literature, Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, Shakespeare Society of America.


Books and book chapters

Volume Editor—Bloom’s Classic Critical Views: John Milton, Facts on File Infobase Publishing, October 2010.

Currently working on a book length project: Mary Tooth of Madeley : Early Methodist Woman Preacher

“Exile and Maternal Loss in the Poems of Patricia Jabbeh Wesley”—Book chapter in Exile and the Narrative/Poetic Imagination, ed. Agnieszka Gutthy, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010.

“Gilbert and Gubar’s Daughters: The Madwoman in the Attic’s Spectre in Milton Studies”-- Book chapter in The Madwoman in the Attic After Thirty Years, ed. Annette Federico, University of Missouri Press, 2009.

“The Trials of Mary Stuart: Anxious Circulations in John Webster’s Drama”—Book chapter in Justice, Women, and Power in English Renaissance Drama, ed. Emily Detmer-Goebel and Andrew Majeske, Farleigh Dickinson Press, 2009.

“Elizabeth I as Deborah the Judge: Exceptional Women of Power” -- Book chapter in Goddesses and Queens, ed. Lisa Hopkins and Annaliese Connolly, University of Manchester Press, 2007.

“Speaking Out: Feminist Theology and Women’s Proclamation in the Wesleyan Tradition”--Book chapter co-written with Lisa Bernal in Being Feminist, Being Christian ed. Bettina Pedersen and Allyson Jule, Palgrave Press, 2006.

“Agnes Diffee”—essay in Holiness Women Preachers, published on-line by the Wesleyan Women Holiness Clergy Group, 1999.

“Double-Minded or Single-Hearted?” - essay on faith and learning in Signatures of the Past, Present, and Future, Point Loma Press, 1998.

Forward to Rick Hill’s Poetry monograph No Hands—from the PLNU Wesleyan Center Press, 2004.



“But Julian of Norwich said Jesus was a Girl!’: Teaching the Mystics at a Conservative Protestant University.”  Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, Vol. 17, Issue 1, Spring 2010.

“‘Most Blessed Daughters of Jerusalem’: Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judeorum and Elizabethan and Jacobean Bible Commentary”–Ben Jonson Journal, Vol. 15, no. 2, Winter 2008.

Book review of Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 1550-1700, Marta Straznicky, in Renaissance Quarterly, Spring 2006.

Book review of Write or Be Written, Barbara Smith and Ursula Appelt, eds, in Renaissance Forum Winter 2005.

“The Duchess of Malfi: Integrity and Intrigue”—Asides Magazine, Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, D.C., January 2002.

“Women in the Christian Tradition”—Website review article, Feminist Collections, Winter 2002.

“Judge, Prophet, Mother: Learning from Deborah”—Daughters of Sarah, Winter 1995.

“Comus: A Political-Historical Perspective”—article in Postscriptum, 1985.

Encyclopedia/reference entries

“Mystical Writings,” “Aemilia Lanyer,” “Margaret Fell Fox,” and “Mary Astell”-- Essays in the Encyclopedia of Christian Literature, ed. George Thomas Kurian and James D. Smith III, Scarecrow Press, 2010.

“Mary Astell” essay in the Great Lives—The Eighteenth Century reference series—Salem Press, 2006.

“John Webster,” “Robert Herrick,” and the “Globe Theatre Fire” essays in the Great Events and Great Lives –The Seventeenth Century reference series—published by Salem Press, 2005.

“Dylan Thomas”—entry in the Biographical Dictionary of Literary Influences: The Twentieth Century. Greenwood Press, 2004.

Eight essays published in Reader’s Guide to Women’s Studies (Chicago/London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998): “Julian of Norwich,” “Mary Stuart,” “Fanny Burney,” “Queen Victoria,” “Frances Willard,” “Flannery O’Connor,” “Anne Sexton,” and “Language: Gender Inclusive/Exclusive.”

“Deborah the Judge” - essay published in Celebrating Women's History : A Women's History Month Resource Book (Gale Research, 1995).


“Exile and Maternal Loss in the Poems of Patricia Jabbeh Wesley”—presented at the African Literature Association Conference, Burlington, VT, April 17, 2009.

“‘Oh, That the Mantle May Rest on Me!’ The Ministry of Mary Tooth”—presented at the American Academy of Religion Conference , Chicago, November 1, 2008.  A revised version of the paper was presented at the Religion, Gender, and Industry: Exploring Church in a Local Setting Conference in Madeley, Shropshire UK, June 17, 2009.

“‘But Julian of Norwich said Jesus was a Girl!’: Teaching the Mystics at a Conservative Protestant University” –presented at the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, May 2008

“The Importance of Word Choice in Our Conversations Toward Wholeness”-- group project co-written with Dr. Lawrie Merz and Dr. Bettina Pedersen—presented at PLNU/CCCU Gender Conference: Conversations toward Wholeness: Creating and Sustaining Climates Where Women and Men can Flourish in Christian Higher Education, PLNU, April 2008.

Session Chair, “Theology and Spiritual Development,” at the above Conference.

“Aemilia Lanyer’s Bible Commentary in Context”---presented at the Renaissance Society of Southern California Conference, San Marino, February 2008

Session Chair, “Representing Queens,” at the above conference.

“‘Most Blessed Daughters of Jerusalem’: Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judeorum and Elizabethan and Jacobean Bible Commentary”--presented at the April 2007 Shakespeare Association of America, San Diego.

“The Trials of Mary Stuart: Anxious Circulations in Webster’s Drama”--- presented at the April 2006 Shakespeare Association of America Conference in Philadelphia.

“Mary Tooth of Madeley: Re-visioning Vocation” -- presented at the February 2006 Wesleyan Center Conference.  A version of this paper was also presented at a Madeley, Shropshire symposium at the Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, UK, May 2006.

“The Trials of Mary Stuart: Anxious Circulations in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama”—presented at 1603: The Accession of James I Conference at the University of Hall, England, June 2003.

“Medieval and Early Modern Women’s Religious Utopias”—presented at the Western Conference of Christianity and Literature, October 2000, Seattle.  A version of this was presented at the Point Loma Nazarene University/Wesleyan Center Centennial Conference, February 2002.

“Queen Elizabeth as Deborah the Judge: Exceptional Women of Power”— presented at the Convivium Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, October 2000, Albany, NY.

“Paradaisical Production: Eve’s Division of Labor in Book IX of Paradise Lost”—presented at the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies Conference, October 1999, Coral Gables, Florida.

Session commentary on Religion and Popular Culture at Church History Conference, PLNU, May 1999.

“Anne Bradstreet’s Biblical Poetics”—presented at the Pacific Coast Tyndale Conference, January 1998.

Panelist, ICCUFA Workshop, October 1997 “Women in the Academy: Perceptions to Realities,” Biola University

“What Happens to Gender in a Postmodern World?” - presented at the Wesleyan Center Postmodernism Conference at PLNC, January 1997.

“Neither Schafly nor Steinem: The Wesleyan Women of the Nineties” -- presented at the Wesleyan Seminar for New Faculty - Point Loma Nazarene College, Fall 1996.  A version of this paper was also presented at the Christians for Biblical Equality San Diego District meeting, February 1997.

“God in a Nutshell: Julian of Norwich’s Divine Metaphors” - presented at the International Conference on the Sacred and Profane, October, 1995, Atlanta.

“‘She knewe of the secretis of God’: Renaissance Representations of Deborah the Judge” was also presented at the Fall 1992 Christianity and Literature Mideast Regional Meeting.

“Governing Bodies: Debates on Gendered Authority in Early Modern England” - Special session I organized for the 1992 Renaissance Society of Southern California Annual Meeting; included my paper “‘She knewe of the secretis of God’: Renaissance Representations of Deborah the Judge.”

“Women in the Theatre of Judgment: Gender and the Law in Shakespeare and Webster”—special session I organized for the 1990 Modern Language Association Conference, Chicago; included my paper on John Webster’s The Devil’s Law-Case.

“‘Still Abusing Women’: Rough Justice in The Duchess of Malfi” - presented at the 1990 Renaissance Society of Southern California Conference.

“Disorder in the Court: Woman Accused in The White Devil” - presented at the 1990 Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies.

Session moderator at the 1989 Riverside Berkeley Shakespeare Festival Conference.